You can’t have a business without customers. It’s that simple. If you can’t make your customers happy and give them a reason to choose you over the thousands of others doing the same thing as you, it’ll be tough to stay in business.
You have to focus on the customer service you provide and the experience each customer has. You do this by creating a culture for your customers that helps them engage with your business and more importantly, refer you to others.
Putting service before sales is the only way your business will remain sustainable. Today, too many business owners focus on analytics, reports, and rankings. What they forget is that there are real people behind the screens. There are real people buying products and services – they are choosing to spend their hard earned dollars on your products or services rather than someone else’s.
How do you keep those customers coming back? You create a cult-like customer base. Without customers, you don’t have a business, so your focus must be there – don’t fall out of alignment of why you are here and why you do what you do.
Focus on the hearts of your customers and when you think of your customers, think of the word CARE.
It’s all about CARE
Think of the acronym CARE, each time you create your customer service do the following:
- C – Creating a Standard
You need a customer service standard that everyone will follow up on. Your entire team must be on the same page. Spend as much time as you can here because it will be the foundation of your business.
Think about all aspects of customer service. What value do you want to provide? How will you handle problems? What protocols do you have in place? Create a standard and get everyone on the same page. It eliminates the guesswork and ensures your customers are handled with care every single time.
It stops the back and forth and putting customers on hold. No one likes that – they’ll just move onto someone else. Empower your team to handle problems as they happen and you’ll have customers for life.
- A – Anticipate and Fulfill Guests’ Needs
If you want raving customers – the type that can’t stop talking about your business, you need to go beyond what they need. You must go beyond what your products or services provide.
Think about it. What do you know about your customers? What is their family like? What do they love to do? Where do they go? Having this information helps you provide more value. You can take that extra step and anticipate their needs, this way when they come to you, they are blown away and can’t help but tell others.
Every customer wants to be seen. Whether that’s with value-added services, a small reward, or acknowledgment. They want to know that you see them and care about them. This creates the value-added services they want and will keep coming back to get.
- R- Reward and acknowledgeCustomers love rewards – it keeps them coming back. They don’t have to be anything crazy – it’s best if you keep it simple.
The old school way was to provide punch cards and you can still do that. But if you’re online, offer digital rewards. Offer rewards for referrals or certain purchase sizes. Think about what you want and reward the customers that do it.
Yes, it feels like you’re giving money away, but you’re doing it for customer acquisition. You’re rewarding your best customers to bring more customers in – it’s a lot cheaper than most marketing tactics.
- E – Exceed ExpectationsFinally, go above and beyond what your customers expect. Don’t over-promise and then not deliver. That creates disappointed customers and bad publicity. Instead, take them by surprise.
Don’t say ‘I’ll get back to you in 2 hours’ when you know you can’t get back for 24 hours. Instead, say 48 hours and when you call them back sooner – it’s a pleasant surprise, you add value.
It doesn’t matter what the situation is, create a situation where you can exceed the expectation. Know what your customers expect and then figure out how you can go above and beyond it – but only do what you can be consistent about.
- C – Creating a Standard
It’s that simple. Think CARE to create a cult-like customer or the customer that keeps coming back no matter what because they can’t beat your service. Be the business that goes above and beyond and that customers can’t help but talk about and you’ll realize your business dreams faster than you thought possible.